Germans were one of the first nations in Europe to be allowed to travel again. Initially in their own country and now also in Europe and the UK. But what does this actually mean? What do Germans now think about their next holidays? What is most important to them? Will they travel abroad this year at all?
Apart from central government policies, Germans are subject to each county’s set of regulations re: COVID-19. Due to the current financial uncertainty, 11 million Germans are not able to make any mid or long term plans. As of 15 June, Germans were able to travel within parts of Europe, from 07 July this included the UK and for travel further afield, they will have to wait until 31 August - even though this could change as the pandemic develops.
Just over a third of the surveyed participants with specific travel plans (35%) have decided to wait and see how the pandemic develops before booking their holidays and 27% stated that they plan to cancel their holidays altogether. 15% want to seek their tour operator’s advice before making a decision. These same tour operators have already cancelled 12% of the bookings they had on their system. 5% of Germans want to re-book their holiday for late 2020 (and 4% for next year).
For 63% of the respondents, Germany is the most popular travel destination with more than half of the survey participants drawn to the German coasts. Domestic city breaks – mostly Berlin, Hamburg and Munich - that accounted for 43% of inbound travel before COVID-19 have lost some of their popularity with only 40% market share at the moment.
39% of Germans want to avoid contact with other people whilst 41% are planning less air travel in the future. The safety factor is crucial and holiday-makers do not feel safe flying to their holiday destination because of the uncertainly around medical access, travel insurance, repatriation process, etc. With this in mind, Germany, Austria and Italy are the top 3 destinations as they can be reached by car. Unfortunately, this will lead to increased air pollution, overcrowded car parks and traffic jams.
The pandemic has seen a massive peak in popularity for the use of digital streaming and services. This habit is there to stay and travel & tourism stakeholders will have to rethink their product so that they become “digitally friendly”.
Based on Catharina Fischer from Tourismuszukunft insight's into the German market based on current nationwide surveys.
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